TheKey Chronicle

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Ballpoint Adventures mega-T
THE INKSTREME BALLPOINT
ADVENTURES

Thursday, February 28, 2002

Script #2--EDITED!! (Almost)

Howdy folks... man I just never have enough time in the day. The good news is, I'm almost done with the literal editing on Script #2 - of course, I skipped over Script #1 since #2 is SO much longer than #1 (like twice as long). I have 30 pages to go on #2 and then #1 is about 100 pages I think. I've also been drawing some new Ballpoint Adventures in preparation for next year. I think I've mentioned this already, but I'm going to draw 52 Ballpoint and Otis strips along with 52 strips for each of three new strips I am developing all for 2003. That way I can run them one a week and I'll have the whole year covered before it even begins. That is assuming I can get around to doing all of this drawing...

I added some new things to TheKey. I added a Paypal donation link and a new subscription service, so if you're tired of hitting TheKey web page every day (or tired of forgetting to) you can now sign up for a TINY fee to get each day's episode of TheKey delivered to your inbox. Cool, huh? It's $0.70 a WEEK, which works out to less than $3 a month - I think that's pretty damn reasonable. I am also thinking about opening a TheKey brand store selling tee-shirts and other items with that cool "TheKey" logo on them. You think anyone would buy that stuff?

Anyway I'm tired - it's almost 5am and I must SLEEEEEEEP! Please tell all your friends about TheKey... or just donate or subscribe so I can afford to advertise... thanks!

Ah, what would I do without the support of my friends?

Nothing different, now that I think about it...

-ThePete

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Comics on eBay--GO LOOK!

Well, I put some comics up on eBay today. I hope to do more tomorrow. While I do want to get a much money as I can for them, I am mainly interested in just getting rid of them. If anyone reading this happens to have a friend or eight who might be interested in buying comics from the late 80s or early 90s, please send them to http://thepete.com/auctions or just to this blog. I have a buttload of comics still and I want to get rid of most of them as quickly as possible. There's simply not enough space in our apartment. I am also going to go through my toys and start selling off the stuff that really doesn't mean much to me. Hopefully, the Star Trek movie that is due out this year will be very popular so I can try selling off my Captain Picard figure that came with two left hands. (Or is it two right hands?) I am so annoyed I didn't the duplicated hand while he was still in the blister pack, but I was just too interested in taking him out... oh well!

Anyway, still have yet to finish those damn scripts... grrr! Tomorrow I have nothign going on all day, so if my next blog update doesn't include something about editing at least SOME of my two scripts, please send a thermonuclear device my way...

Thanks and GOOD NIGHT!

-ThePete

Monday, February 25, 2002

Whine, Whine, Whine

So, is TheKey better or worse now that I've started Book 2? Please check it out and let me know. God, I am so tired and hungry right now, why am I bothering to write in my Blog? I am about to fall over.... arg...

If you hear a thump suddenly, after I stop typing, that's just me hitting the floor.

I spent WAY too long working on the stupid main page again and in my short-sighted-ness I managed to not think things through properly and I went back to using PHP which means much slower loading time and excluding older browsers from my main page. Stupid me... But, I'll fix that today (Monday) if I can. I'll set aside a few hours to work on it. I'll also set aside at least six hours out of the day to finish editing scripts 1 & 2. I'm 50 pages into Script #2 and have yet to touch #1. But hopefully will get to both tomorrow. I also need to find some time to post more auctions on eBay. Until Nero supports my new burner, no more VCD sales on eBay. I'll still sell them from my site, I just don't want to chance someone not being able to play my discs and then flipping out and leaving negative feedback. Plus I get a LOT fewer sales from my site than I do eBay...

Oh crap, I forgot to change the featured item from TheMall... damn... see? I spent WAY too much time today (Sunday) on the damn main page. But check it out here and let me know what you think...

Okay, I've GOT to go now...

-ThePete


BONK!

Friday, February 22, 2002

QUEEN OF THE DAMNED (2002)

Entertaining? A lot more than I expected!
Technically any good? While it still is a cheesy B-movie, it did have a LOT of cool stuff - some really nice visuals, REALLY good atmosphere (better than "Interview"!). Setup for the ending was weak and the Queen needed better entrances.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Surprisingly happy. The music was really good, acting, not great but certainly reasonable. I downright liked this movie. I'm not saying it's great, though...
Final Rating? SIYL

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

New Direction for TheKey

Wow - it was a good night of writing tonight!!! YEEEEHAW!!! Well, I don't care if anyone else likes the new direction TheKey is going in, cuz I do. It's not a logical direction to take the story in, but the characters need to go in this direction despite what it is that I want them to do. WRITING KICKS ASS!! I LOVE THIS SHIT!!!

YEAH!!

It's amazing - my financial life is in ruin, but my creative life is in heaven. ONE DAY, mark my words, I WILL HAVE BOTH AT THE SAME TIME!!!

Go read TheKey, damn it!

-ThePete

Monday, February 18, 2002

Sucky Article on Blogging TAKE THIS!

http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,50443,00.html < -- The dumbest frigging article on web logging ever. This guy is a friggin moron and the people he spoke with seem to be even more moronic. Who keeps a blog to be popular? What kind of friggin' loser thinks a BLOG will make them popular? GIMME A BREAK? What the HELL are web sites for??!? I've been keeping my web site alive and well for four years now just to make people like me and NOW I'M SUPPOSED TO KEEP A BLOG UP FOR THAT REASON TOO?!?

If you bought the above line of crapola, you're dumber than you look. The article sucks, but anyone who expresses themselves SOLELY to be liked/loved is in SEVERE need of a spinal fluid injection. Come on people - I write because I have to - so should you. Don't be a poser. Blog like you mean it. AND I THINK IT'S COOL WHEN PEOPLE TALK ABOUT WHAT THEY ATE!! If I want traditional entertainment (as one person in the article above seems to want) I'LL TURN ON THE BORING-ASS TV!! REAL PEOPLE ARE HELLUVA LOT MORE INTERESTING THAN SOME FLASHY TECH-WRITER INTERESTED IN CASHING IN ON THE 'Talking about Blogging' BOOM! YA LOSERS!!

God, I feel like a teenager all of the sudden... YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND ME!! (Maybe if you'd read my Blog more, you'd understand that I don't give a crap about people liking me - I'm just hoping I entertain people other than myself. But if I don't, I don't care.)
-ThePete

Anakin and eBay and Editing, OH MY!

Okay, I'm better tonight. Thanks, Chad - for being so sensitive! :| Aaanyway, things are cool, I guess. I'm wondering if Anakin will actually be the clone they base the Stormtroopers on in the next Star Wars movie... with so many clones wandering around, how hard is it to belive that Anakin might be cloned, too?

Lessee, I'm selling again on eBay - and I plan to sell more. It looks like I just might have enough time tomorrow (Tues) to ACTUALLY go through and do some editing on Scripts 1 & 2!! I'll believe that when I see it. I also have two screenings to run. With my luck, they'll both be really good.

Okay, gotta go...

I'm One of THOSE Writers

There's one thing that I've never heard about being a writer. I've read a lot, and heard many writers speak and give interviews and so on. But I've never heard a single writer - not one talk about how hard it is to kill off a character.

Not just any character, mind you - but a character you've been writing for a while and for reasons of story you have to kill them off. In my big SciFi Novel I killed off two characters that either, I knew weren't going to stay dead (this is scifi, after all) or they weren't actually dead. Both times, I balled my eyes out just because my head was inside the heads of the characters that didn't know what was going on. I cried like these were real people in my life. I was actually scared for them!

Tongiht I had to kill off another character of mine. This time, in TheKey (if you're not reading, head over and catch up! SHEESH!) I killed off someone I have only been writing since early January. But still, because he was a member of a group that had grown tight through many a life-threatening experience, I was there, too. The hardest most stark sentence I've ever had to write was just two words long. Thinking about the words makes me want to cry. I'm starting to cry right now. He's not coming back. He's gone. No more. And what makes it all the more painful is that he's left unfinished business. He's got family and belongings that were left far from home. Things weren't set right in his life before he died - not by a long shot. And even though I wrote that life and death for him, I still feel like it wasn't up to me. It sounds ridiculous to admit, but it just doesn't feel fair.

Jesus, I have to stop typing now. God Damn. Does Stephen King go through this shit?

Saturday, February 16, 2002

Remember Vinyl?

Never enough time...

Hey, check it out! I'm a broken record! NEAT!

-ThePete

Hey I Wrote a Bitch!

Ack! I'm tired! So much to do! Did a new Bitch! YAY! FINALLY! Also wrote two kick ass entries for TheKey! Read the first one nowwwww! It rocks!! Read TheBitch, too... Anyway, gotta go be unconscious for a while... Have a lovely one!
-ThePete

Friday, February 15, 2002

AO(GOTOHEL)L

SAME TO ALL YOU OTHER GREEDY BASTARDS!

What IS it with greed? It's this disgusting circle. The more you give into it, the more you are trapped by it. This is something I think would be fairly obvious to most folks. The catch is, most folks have forgotten that greed is a relatively bad thing. Sure, it's okay to be somewhat greedy some of the time, but "more" doesn't always equal "better". Just ask Ken Lay - he was running a super-powerful energy company that was basically dictating the United States' energy policy to the guy in the Oval Office, buuuut he got greedy - way too greedy. To most experts, it looks like he decided that he wanted to cash out a mess of his stock ($150 million worth) but not before he drove up the price by saying how the company was going to go through the roof. Then, his company declared bankrupcy and he made $150 million in stock disappear. Now, the Federal Government wants his ass to testify and he's declared the Fifth (i.e. he won't say anything on the grounds that it might incriminate him).

See what greed can get you when it's taken to the extreme? Sure it doesn't happen to everybody who is greedy, but that's not my point. Even in greed there should be balance - the idea that you can be greedy to a certain degree - but not to the extent where extreme reprecussions result where you and others are harmed. In Ken Lay's example, he KNEW was hurting his company, his employees, the people who owned stock in his company as well as his customers. But, he did it anyway.

Let's look at the biggest entertainment company in the world. AOL/TIME/WARNER is an Internet/Publishing/Movie/Television Empire in the truest sense. They run the biggest Internet Service Provider ("So easy, no wonder it's number one!"), publish the single most recognized weekly news magazine in the world (Time Magazine), distribute some of the most successful movies of all time (The first Harry Potter movie made over $300 million in the American movie theaters ALONE) and they run their own TV Network!

What disgusts me most of all is that, THAT'S NOT ENOUGH FOR THEM!! They have to also rely on dirty little tricks to make EVEN MORE money. For instance, they advertise like mad inside their ISP - as in, you log in to get your mail, but before you can, you are asked if you want to buy this book or this video. In fact, from what I have heard, AOL plasters adds anywhere it can. It's like cable TV where you pay to see adds flashed at you. It's absurd. $24 a month is what they like to charge for unlimited access. However, they do have cheaper plans available going for as cheap as $5 a month for 3 hours of use a month. Let's give AOL the benefit of the doubt and say they charge all of their members just $5 a month (but remember, many, if not most, of their customers pay more) - multiply that times the number of subscribers AOL has (According to their corporate web site, more than 30 million) and you discover AOL takes in over $150 million a month! That's the same amount of money the first Harry Potter movie took in after about ten days in theaters - In case you're curious, that approaches $1 billion a year! And that's the conservative figure! By some estimates, they take in closer to $8 billion a year from subsribers.

I quote many of my fellow Internauts when I say WTF!

Now, with closer to 8 billion dollars a year, (JUST from ISP subscribers monthly fees - not including money made from their advertising!) you'd think they could offer some more services for free. Well, they do. AOL Instant Messenger is a handy (if brainless) little app that allows anyone, whether they subscribe to AOL or not, to send Instant Messages across the Internet for free. Because it's a dumb little app and is compatible with AOL's main system, (i.e. AIM users can send AOL users IMs) it is the IM network of choice. Of course, AOL can't allow themselves to NOT make money off of something. For all users of the free AIM network who use their AIM application to access the AIM network, there are ads displayed on the application itself. So, even then, users still have to pay in that they are advertised to.

Now, the Microsoft Network, a competing Internet Service Provider, also has an Instant Messenger network as does Yahoo (they only provide web-based Internet services). Many people use these other networks out of convenience or protest against AOL's empire. For some stupid reason, none of these companies wants to face the fact that these instant messaging networks is compatible with each other. MSN and Yahoo, however, are willing to let third party applications to use their IM network (MultiCity used to be free, but Trillian still is). MSN and Yahoo see no direct money (that I know of) from third party applications using their networks, but they let it happen anyway. AOL, surprise, surprise, does not allow anyone to use their IM network. Why is this? Their official policy is that it's a security risk to allow other companies' applications access to their network. If that's the case, then they should make it easier for third party companies to produce applications that don't pose a security threat. AOL doesn't even try to work out some sort of licensing deal which would allow Trillian to access their network for a small fee. (If Trillian started charging a $1 or $2 a month, no one would flinch and the totals would add up.)

That's only if they want to seem like they really care about Internet users in general. The fact of the matter is, they don't care about anything but making more money. And after ALL the money AOL alone makes, (remember somewhere between $1 billion and $8 billion a year from SUBSCRIBERS ALONE) you'd think they could pull back a little and share the wealth...

Here's my suggestion, boycott AOL and all of it's companies until AOL shares itself with other users. Here is a list of AOL owned sites/ services and their reasonable alternatives:


AOL-owned company

Reasonable NON-AOL-owned alternative

America OnLine & Compuserve

AT&T Worldnet service or Prodigy Internet

AOL Instant Messenger &
ICQ (another another IM network AOL owns)

Yahoo Instant Messenger or Trillian

Mapquest

Maporama.com

Moviefone

Fandango

Netscape

MSIE (sadly) or Opera

Spinner/WinAmp

Real Media/any number of mp3 players

So, there you have it. We can beat the system, but only if we consciously avoid it.

Crap, Crap, Crap, Crappy Crap (to do)

Arg - it seems like I'm ALWAYS tweaking... well, I've changed ThePeteTV around a bit - it's now laid out a bit more logically. I've also ditched the headlinks on ThePete.Com's main page and replaced them with dashlinks because they take up less space and are less sore-thumbish. I am thoroughly enjoying the crap out of writing "TheKey" - anyone who is reading this should be reading "TheKey" - it's MUCH better than my life...

Anyway, so, I've been sneaking in tweaks on my site for a while now since nothing's realy going on in the scifi world... Not much new to type about right now aside from me feeling generally better, health-wise. I will try to add a downloadables page soon - it'll probably be off of ThePeteCave (which also needs sufficient tweaking!) so, stay tuned, true believer! I am also looking into streaming video. I am on the fence on whether people prefer watching something live from your site once and always having to return to the site, or DLing something to their own PCs and then watching it over and over. What do YOU think? Click on the commenty thing below to let me know...

Oh and also I'd like to convert the contact page to ThePete's Phone Booth. It would feature a Java-Based instant messenger app, a Java chat room as well as a guestbook, a private email form and more...

Anyway, time for bed... I have a VCD set to send off today, so I hope to wake up well before 4:30pm... wish me luck... that's only ten hours from now...

LATER, BITCHES!

-ThePete

PS Have you ever noticed that the word "please" seems to have come from the plural of the word "plea". So, like every time you're "polite" to someone, you're actually pleading with them to do something. How is this polite, exactly? It seems more disrespectful to assume they wouldn't do something simple like pass the salt, right? (What do YOU think? Click the commenty thing!)

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

TheKey and Some Other Junk, too...

I rule - I just added a new color scheme to my stack o' main pages. Check it out! I also put off a major event in TheKey for another night. Of course, I replaced it with the big confrontation of the traitor! Woohoo! Check it out, will ya? Anyway, I've got to sleep now. Leave a comment, say hello! Hey - check out my mood there... I think I'm supposed to be pensive. That'd be about right... I prefer ink to lead any day... HA!!
-ThePete

PS Yes, it DOES hurt, are you HAPPY?!?!?

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

SICK-NO!

Hey there - well, I'm not fully sick, but when I feel the way I do, I try to treat myself like I am fully sick, so I don't get fully sick. I hate being sick, because it means I get damn near nothing done. Not that this would be very different from an average day. But you get the point. I've come to the conclusion recently that I am sabotaging myself by putting everything else first before my writing sighting some really stupid excuses for why I need to do somethings over writing. it's one thing to change the cat litter, but today I spent an hour with Sierra file cabinet shopping. What a waste that ended up being - they were out of them! I should have stayed home and edited my scripts. Now, out of punishment/desperation I am going to print out both scripts to bring with me tomorrow when I do three screenings, back-to-back. Yippeee! Cash is needed! Anyway, gotta crash now... Until next time, enjoy the following:


-ThePete

Sunday, February 10, 2002

Sunday, SOME day!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAARG! TOO MUCH TO DO!!! I've WASTED my Sunday almost 100% by making changes to my main page that didn't need to be done!! But, I think they're cool, nonetheless. Click the head to make up your own mind!

-ThePete

Wednesday, February 6, 2002

Mail and Crap...

Well, I'm almost done with the CD burning! I know, I don't believe me either. I mean, sure there's a lot more burning I will be doing, but I'm nearly done with the eBay-related stuff. I spent $40 on postage today - that's how much crap I had to send off. Of course, I sent all of it Priority Mail because I didn't have the patience to use my own packaging.

Speaking of the Post Office, a buddy of mine sent me some VCDs and LDs back on Jan 25th and they still have yet to arrive in LA from Colorado!! What the hell is that?

My One Ring Replica is also taking it's time to get to me.

So, let's see - assuming I do finish up the last of the time-sensitive burning tonight, I should be able to package everything up and send it off tomorrow (Thursday). Then, I need to scan and defrag my drives, burn the raw vid files to CD so I don't ever have to scramble if the raw files on my HD get corrupted. (also, I'll be able to make VCDs on any computer with a burner). After that, I need to burn all of my mp3s to CD - all 32 mbs of mp3s...

But that's all longe term stuff. In the short term as in, my to do list for Thursday is as follows:

Send off eBay crap
Study Japanese for an hour (DAMN IT!)
Edit Scripts #1 & 2
Hang a poster
clean up my office
Write TheKey

I think this is a pretty reasonable list of items to accomplish. WISH ME LUCK! (and buy stuff, please!)
-ThePete

Tuesday, February 5, 2002

STILL BURNING!!

Ugh - still more CD burning to do and I'M AWAKE AT 4 AM!!! DAMN IT!! AAAAAAAAAAAAARG! Well, I just updated TheKey again - and if I gave each day's updates titles, Feb 5's would be "Holy Shit". Have a read and you'll see why.

And guess what - I STILL HAVEN'T EDITED MY DAMN SCRIPTS!! This damn CD project is taking up just way too much of my time... I have to stop doing eBay crap for a while. The thing is, I NEED THE CASH!! It's a damn vicious (sp?) circle and I'm getting ready to admit to needing a vacation. You wanna know what I'd do on it?

I'D SPEND IT WRITING BECAUSE I'M A GODDAMNFRIGGIN IDIOT!!

Well, the to do list for Feb 6 is the same as the to do list for Feb 4 & 5!

Finish burning CDs
Send of eBay crap to customers who deserved to have their items go out days ago.
Study Japanese (HA!)
Do yet another screening (as my pal Britt says "Money, money, money!"
Then, I get to write TheKey again.
Then, EDIT SCRIPTS #1 & 2!!!

I need a bath... a nice, relaxing hot bath. Too bad our tub holds the cats' litter boxes. (We have a seperate stall for showering.)

Oooooooooooooohhhhhh SLEEEEEEP!

-ThePete

Monday, February 4, 2002

To Do or Not To Do...THAT was the Question

Well, I did burn CDs like a freaking maniac. (but I still have MANY to go.) I did make it to my afternoon screening, only I got there an hour early because that wonderful co-worker of mine told me the wrong time when I called to confirm. This co-worker (Check my blog archives for the entry where I go off about this loser co-worker of mine - this is the same one) has been "helping out around the office" while the usual guy who actually does help out around the office, is out of town. Really good. My boss is like "Well, sorry about that, but at least you're on the clock."

Yeah, but I had THINGS TO DO IN THAT HOUR!! I did manage to make it somewhat useful in that I had my sketch book with me, so I drew a bunch of new Ballpoint Adventure strips. I plan to draw 52 of them and run them all next year. I plan to draw 52 new Otis strips and 52 of a few other strips and run all new strips all next year. I've got like forty-some weeks to prepare, that SHOULD be enough time. Anyway, so it was annoying since I get a 3 hour minimum. I was there for 3.25 hours. After taxes that means I got an extra 2 bucks. On top of that, the movie sucked. It was John Q. The acting was pretty good, but it felt more like Jerry Bruckheimer meets "Brian's Song". Every chance the film had to be new and different it found ways to be old and boring. It sent a great message and for that reason alone I hope it does well. But unless you want to get slammed in the head several times with a sledge hammer labelled "THE US HEALTH CARE SYSTEM SUCKS", I'd skip the movie.

I did get to see Leonard Maltin - he's such a nice guy. I love doing screenings for him because he almost always says "thanks" and "have a great day".

Anyway, so comparing the days events to my to do list. I did all right, but not perfectly. I did get a lot of CDs burned, but I didn't finish. I did do a screening where I was able to draw, so that's good. I was able to write TheKey (as always) but I didn't even glance at Scripts 1 & 2. I have another screening tomorrow night and I expect to be spending most of the day finishing up all of my CD burning. So, I doubt I'll get to Scripts 1 & 2 even then. Supposedly, I'll have screenings Wednesday and Thursday night as well, too. But hopefully, I'll be done with my CD burning and eBay crap by then - HOPEFULLY!! We'll see!

Here's one for the road:


-ThePete

Close (Phone) Call on the Jury Duty

Irony of ironies, I called the Jury Service hotline and they said my group had "completed its required jury services" and that anyone in my group didn't need to call again and I don't even need to send in anything - COOL!

I guess the Force is with me after all!

Of course, I still have an afternoon screening and won't be getting my eBay items out in the mail to my customers today... did I mention my eBay items in my "to do list" below? I can't remember...

-ThePete

Jury Doodie

Great - I just realized that I have been so busy over the past few days, I was supposed to call in last night to see if I had jury duty today - but I forgot. I LOVE the fact that skip jury duty and the government threatens to fine you thousands of dollars. Skip voting and nobody notices... THOSE are some clear priorities! I wonder if I'll get fined....

My To Do List:

Fun things to do today:

Burn CDs like a freakin' maniac
Leave for screening today at 2:30pm...(my evening screening cancelled.)
Edit Scripts #1 & #2 (yeah, like EITHER of these will happen today!)
Write TheKey

Seems reasonable, enough!

-Pete